Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday January 15th 2020 in Elsworth School at 7:30pm
Chairman Peter Deer (PD)
Councillors Rob Askham (RA) Alison Brolls (AB) Victoria McNeil (VM) David Pope (DP) Margaret Stevenson (MSt) James Witherow (JW)
In attendance Mrs E Sim (ES) Parish Clerk
Parish Tree Warden Paul Harding (PH)
1. Apologies for absence
C. Cllr Mandy Smith
2. Declarations of Interest
There were none.
3. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on November 20th 2019.
The minutes were approved as a true record (Prop JW, 2nd DP) and signed by the Chairman.
4. Update on items from the November 2019 PC meeting
4.1. Warden Scheme
VM had circulated information on the scheme to all councillors. Councillors held a full discussion on the merits and financial implications of the scheme. Councillors generally welcomed the concept and benefits of the scheme whilst being mindful of potential financial commitments. VM proposed (Sec DP) that
“Elsworth Parish Council should be party to the grant application for the Age UK Warden Scheme”. Carried 6 Votes for 1 abstention.
4.2. Renovation of the children’s play area
RA had circulated information on meetings with two contractors (Fenland Leisure and Sovereign Play). He was awaiting detailed costs from them for renovation or renewal of equipment; in addition, Sovereign Play were drawing up a design for the play area. RA would be trying to arrange meetings with other contractors and invited other councillors to accompany him. Detailed costings would be brought to future PC meetings for consideration.
4.3. Acquisition of the A14 funded MRVS (Cllr. MS) No update was available
5. To Appoint LGS services as Internal Auditors for financial year 2019-2020.
Mrs Val Seeking had advised that she would not be able to conduct the internal Audit for the coming financial year. Councillors Agreed to appoint LGS Services as Internal Auditors for the financial year 2020 -2021.
6. Report of Monthly accounts
The following were approved (Prop DP Sec VM)
Elsworth Times Delivery Thomas Harris. Oct edition 30.00
Computer/stationery WH Smith. PC diary 2020 7.49
Christmas Lights event Tescos. Wine 112.50
Christmas Lights event Springlane GmbH. Hob 39.90
Elsworth Times Pendrill Publications 75.00
Litter Pick equipment Helping Hand. Paul Solon 117.36
Subscriptions Guava Design. PC domain name renewal 30.00
Play area maintenance Ludus Leisure. New handles Child’s rocker 60.00
Street Lighting 18-19 Cambridgeshire County Council 243.30
Christmas Lights event Morrisons Supermarkets PLC George Stevenson 12.50
Elsworth Times Thomas Harris. Delivery Dec edition 30.00
Huws Grey Ridgeons Stain for Bus shelter 6.49
Boxworth Farming Stain for bus shelter 42.05
Elsworth Community Shop Donation towards Car Park resurfacing 200.00
7. To set a Budget and agree the Parish Council precept for 2020-2021
The Chairman proposed to take this item after agenda item 9. Agreed unanimously.
8. Clerk’s DC/CC/FLC updates
No updates had been received from the County or District Councillors.
The Clerk’s update had been circulated to all councillors. A copy is appended to these minutes. This included
- Internal and external Audit arrangements.
- Highway maintenance issues still outstanding
- SCDC tree voucher scheme
- Blue Plaque proposals for Rev Wilbert Awdry. Councillors agreed that the proposals to site a Blue Plaque on the barn at the top of The Causeway was a welcome tribute. It was noted that a celebration unveiling was planned for a date in May and suggested that Rev Awdry’s son and a representative from Elsworth School should be amongst those invited. The Clerk would contact the Blue Plaque Society about this and also about former residents who knew the barn when they were children, being invited.
Fardell’s Lane Reserve update. A brief report from the Committee Chairman had been circulated to all councillors and is appended to these minutes. PH advised that the committee had not spent all the funds allocated for the current financial year but that works were planned for the coming months that would draw on all the funds. Health and safety maintenance on steps and fallen trees within the reserve needed to be addressed. PH requested funds of £300 for the coming financial year. Councillors agreed. PH raised the question of the Community Payback teams help in the reserve. The reserve benefitted greatly from the help of these teams but they had not attended for many months. The Clerk would contact the organisers to ascertain the current position. In any event a working party would be organised shortly and the Committee would welcome volunteers. PH would draft publicity for the event to be circulated by the Clerk.
9. The Elsworth Times Newsletter and related matters
Councillors agreed that efforts should be made to continue the publication. Pendrill Publications had agreed to receive copy direct from contributors but had requested that contributions should be proofread before going to print. The contact address for the publication had been amended on the village web site. Councillors proposed to promote the village email circulation, as this was felt to be a very effective means of communicating with a large percentage of the village residents. Councillors agreed that organisations that had pages on the village web site should be reminded that they should nominate a member of their organisation to update information. It was agreed that extensive updating and redesign of the site’s format would currently not be pursued.
Item 7 was taken at this point of the meeting.
To set a Budget and agree the Parish Council precept for 2020-2021
Councillors discussed income/expenditure in the past year and potential expenditure going forward, including requests from organisations/groups within the village. Councillors were mindful that major expenditure had been incurred in the current financial year on projects that had benefitted the village. With the possible exception of the play area where external grant funding would have to be sought, no major projects were proposed for the coming financial year, although it was agreed that increased budgetary allowance should be made for environmental matters and village maintenance. Councillors were also mindful of potential areas in which expenditure could be incurred in the future. Councillors agreed that specific budgets should not be set for smaller and possibly non-recurrent and uncertain items of expenditure (such as the village sign flower bed, litter picking, etc.) and that any requests for expenditure should be considered on an ad hoc basis and met from reserves. The Clerk advised that expenditure in the current financial year had put the council into a bracket that required external audit and therefore increased audit fees. It was noted that no increase in the precept had been made for the past two years and councillors agreed that it was prudent to increase the precept by a modest amount. VM proposed and RA seconded, that.
“The Parish Council should request a precept of £23,000.00 for the financial year 2020-2021”. Agreed unanimously.
10.1. To receive details of SCDC’s proposed changes in determining planning applications.
10.2. S/3067/17/FL Solopark Ltd Martins Farm, 53, Boxworth Road, Elsworth, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB23 4J
Extension, alteration and conversion to existing outbuildings to form two dwellinghouses, formation of new vehicular access and associated works and Infrastructure. Application withdrawn
10.3. S/4326/19/LB Mr & Mrs Allen 15, Cotterells Lane, Elsworth, Cambridge, CB23 4JR
Re-laying of tiles to rear roof slope including replacement tiles as necessary. Replacement window to rear elevation PC recommendation: Support
10.4. S/4364/19/DC Mr Alan Hutchinson14, Church Lane, Elsworth, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB23 4HU
Discharge of Conditions 3 (finished floor levels), 4 (hard and soft landscape), 5 (boundary Treatment), 6 (Biodiversity enhancement) of planning application S/1948/19/FL. For information only
10.5. Decision notice received
S/3882/19 Mr Benjamin Conway Barn 2, Pitt Dene Farm, Elsworth CB23 4JA
Prior approval for a change of use of B1(C) Units to two residential dwellings
11 Dates of meetings in 2020
March 18th Parish Council Meeting April 22nd Annual Parish Meeting
May 20th Annual Parish Council Meeting July 15th Parish Council Meeting
September 16th Parish Council Meeting November 18th Parish Council Meeting
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 21:20